Chinese sportswear and equipment manufacturing company Li Ning has applied to register ‘Ning Coffee’ trademark to the China National Intellectual Property Administration, sparking widespread speculation within Mainland China of its intentions.
The application is currently being reviewed by relevant authorities.
Li Ning, which has more than 5800 stores across China, could potentially overtake Starbucks to become the second biggest coffee brand after Luckin Coffee if it starts selling coffee inside all of its stores.
The move comes at a time when China’s coffee industry is posting remarkable growth. According to Statista, the market is now valued at US$12.1 billion, nearly double its worth in 2015. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22 per cent during the next five years, reaching more than $32.4 billion by 2025.